§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the President of the Board of Trade what countries in addition to Sweden, Japan, Siam and the United States of America, the Minister of State for Trade has visited since his appointment; what was the cost of these visits; who accompanied him officially; what was the purpose of these visits; and whether he will give a detailed statement showing the number of new export orders achieved as the result of these visits.
§ Mr. Mason
I have recently visited Sweden and Japan to see their shipbuilding industries for myself and I was accompanied by three officials on each occasion. The Japanese visit provided opportunities for short stops at Bangkok, San Francisco and New York for discussions with British shipping interests and with local business communities about export possibilities, and for inspection of the British stands at the New York Boat Show and the offices of the British Travel Association. The final cost is not known but the main item—air fares—came to £3,374. The negotiation of export orders is for individual companies but I believe that my visits will have helped to provide a more favourable atmosphere for United Kingdom exporters.